Announcing PL Launchpad 

Protocol Labs
Protocol Labs
Announcing PL Launchpad

Web3 is on a massive growth trajectory. Over the past year, the number of monthly-active developers in web3 has grown by 75%, with over 34K new web3 developers in 2021 alone (opens new window)!

But taking the leap into web3 can be daunting for even the most experienced developers. Building web3 projects requires learning about new web3-native primitives like ipld (opens new window) (self-describing content-addressed data structures), libp2p (opens new window) (modular peer-to-peer networking), and ipfs (opens new window) (distributed file-systems with no single point of failure) - which power blockchains like Filecoin (opens new window), Ethereum2.0 (opens new window) & Polkadot (opens new window); applications like Audius (opens new window), SuperRare (opens new window), and (opens new window); and even web3 browsing in Brave (opens new window) and Opera (opens new window)!

With nearly 300 companies building in the Protocol Labs Network (PLN) - of which >50% joined in the last 6 months alone! - now is a great time for high-growth researchers, developers, & operators inside and outside the web3 space to ramp up their “InterPlanetary” knowledge and contribute to these cutting-edge technologies directly.

From core distributed systems engineers, to network researchers, to community managers, to startup operators - there are a vast number of exciting roles and opportunities across PLN teams and companies. A small sample includes:

# Introducing PL Network Launchpad

To help accelerate these new contributors into the PL Network, we’re excited to introduce PL Network Launchpad!

PL Launchpad is a 6-week onboarding program for new network contributors to quickly ramp up their InterPlanetary web3 knowledge, grow strong PL Network community bonds, and find their best-fit role in the PL Network.

PL Launchpad consists of bi-monthly, tight-knit program cohorts which onboard new labbers across PLN companies and teams as a cross-functional group. Each cohort includes an optional in-person hack week to bond and share knowledge with other cohort participants.

Preview the program's learning agenda in the OSS Launchpad Curriculum (opens new window).


In addition to the above curriculum, the Launchpad program will also give participants:

  • A clear understanding of the vision, open challenges, and diverse teams across the PL Network
  • A deep-dive on each of IPFS, libp2p, IPLD, Filecoin, & the web3 dev tools built on them - facilitated by core devs and protocol stewards
  • Support contributing to multiple OSS projects, including core protocols and tooling, guided by a senior mentor within the PLN
  • A chance to work with senior mentors and peers developing a personal project that highlights your interests and learning (as a prototype for potential role matches now or in the future)
  • Strong community bonds with mentors, facilitators, and fellow cohort members
  • Assistance matching you to a role within the Protocol Labs Network that excites, fuels, and challenges you every day!

# The PL Launchpad Experience

PL Launchpad cohorts have already helped onboard 44 new PL Network labbers across 9 organizations. The pilot Launchpad v0 cohort in Q4 2021 already helped labbers form valuable connections and quickly disseminate knowledge.

@patrickwoodhead (opens new window) (Technical Program Manager for the Filecoin Retrieval Markets) was one of the first Launchpad cohort members. His favorite part of Launchpad was building relationships with core protocol maintainers and other cohort peers. “Within the first week, we met the lead maintainers for each of the reference implementations for IPFS, IPLD, and libp2p - so we had an expert to talk to for each knowledge area we were onboarding on. It was also great to build camaraderie with other cohort members across the whole PL Network - so now I have contacts on many different teams I can reach out to and learn what’s going on. Having this support system helped make diving into new areas much less daunting!”

@galargh (opens new window) (Software Engineer on the IP Stewards Team) had a similar experience: "I could not have imagined a better intro to PL Network for myself even if I tried. Even though a bit crazy at times, as pilots tend to be, I was amazed by how well-rounded the Launchpad curriculum was. IPFS, libp2p, Filecoin,... it had it all! I find it especially useful in my day-to-day that it taught me how to navigate the space, where to find project specific information and who's who in the Web3 world. The people I met through Launchpad are, by far, what I value the most. That's why, if I could give one piece of advice to future participants, it's to get together as much as possible! I might even be able to join you, since I liked Launchpad so much I became a mentor 😉"

# Joining PL Launchpad

The next cohort of PL Launchpad kicks off on March 29th, 2022! New prospective labbers can join Launchpad via 2 possible paths:

  1. As a pre-matched candidate – Apply to and join a PLN team that participates in the Launchpad onboarding program (see qualifying job descriptions above!)


  2. As an un-matched candidate – Join the Launchpad program directly, and work with Launchpad facilitators to get matched with open roles and best-fit teams during the 6 week onboarding program (apply here! (opens new window))

Un-matched Launchpad participants get the added benefit of exploring a variety of potential roles and teams within the PL Network to find the match for their interests, talents, and goals.

Apply directly to the next Launchpad cohort HERE!

If you are a team in the PL Network who would like to send your new pre-matched hires through the next PLN Launchpad onboarding, please fill out the manager request form here (opens new window).

Please reach out with any program question or referrals to!